Interdisciplinary Research Design
Full course description
The aim of this course is to help students begin to chart a path through the broad and diverse research landscape entailed by the notion of “digital society”. It builds on earlier courses of qualitative and quantitative research methods and aims to help students understand that there is no one right path through the thickets of topics, questions and methods. A thriving research field has many roads to research success, in particular in interdisciplinary research. Students will also learn about the importance of “failure” or achieving negative results, and the important role that this plays in the development of science.
Interdisciplinary research design brings many intertwined fundamental and practical challenges. The practical challenges are how to triangulate interesting/relevant questions, appropriate methods and available data. Yet, the challenge of ‘good’ questions, methods and data, point to fundamental questions about knowledge production itself. The course combines lectures on the basic philosophical outlooks on science, student-led interview sessions with leading researchers about exemplary interdisciplinary research, and workshops where practical questions on data, method and questions will be addressed.
After this course, students will be able:
- To formulate interdisciplinary research questions relating to processes of digitalisation [2.2]
- To articulate how a research proposal is related to fundamental questions about knowledge production (such as demarcation, justification, falsification, socialisation, credibility) [1.2]
- To identify and justify appropriate methods for answering interdisciplinary research questions, and to recognize their limits and (ethical) implications [3.2]
- To design a long-term project proposal [4.2]
The course material will consist of a reader that will be made available through Reference List.